Skip to main content

Grateful Dead Live at St. Paul Civic Center on 1981-07-10

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at St. Paul Civic Center on 1981-07-10

Topics Live concert

Jack Straw, Sugaree, Mama Tried-> Mexicali Blues, Loser, Cassidy, Brown Eyed Women-> CC Rider, Ramble On Rose, Let It Grow-> Don't Ease Me In Samson & Delilah, Althea, Estimated Prophet-> Eyes Of The World-> Drums-> Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band-> China Doll-> Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band-> Around & Around-> Good Lovin', E: Casey Jones

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue St. Paul Civic Center
Location St. Paul, MN

Source Audience Recording: Nak 300/cp1
Lineage Behind (Stage) Nak 300/cp1>Cm>Cass>Dat>CD
Taped by
Transferred by


Behind (Stage) Nak 300/cp1>Cm>Cass>Dat>CD; via Charlie Miller; Seeded to etree by Willy


Reviewer: whodat808 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2016
Subject: from texas to minnesota......
.....started at the summit in houston,now way up here,hah....i remember the awesome second set post drumz sandwich....cant forget that kinda gem......i remeber also the good lovin save out of around n round,lol...any show( ive remeber at least 3) that casey jones encores is a damn good show. listening back it sounds (quality is so so) awesome ,starting in let it grow ,jerry is strtching his rubber band nicely,the dont ease is tight !!!l from estimated/eyes onwards itsa top notch segment ,jerrys vitamins kicked in nice...and his voice still reaches high notes( whereas after 83,not so much again...) china doll...C'MOn now !!!!
Reviewer: The TRUE Bucky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 10, 2013
Subject: Not So Great Until.. The End of Eyes
One reviewer says: "Despite one reviewers claim, the whole show is stellar."

I think not in my opinion.

I was there; saw 29 shows in 1981.

This night was incredibly average until the end of Eyes when Jerry caught a spark
& ran with it into the drums.


A major classic for sure, except when Bob jumps all over the end of Playin' & gipped us out of The Wheel (if you understood Wheel/China Doll dynamics in 80/81 you'd know this is what happened).

But, that's the only reason we got Casey Jones too.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 10, 2013
Subject: --
For '81 and that fleet-footed, light sound, this is as good as you're going to get. Everything played very finely; as others have noticed, the AUD source here is amazing - sometimes you'd swear you're listening to a board.

Set 1 - Sugaree, Cassidy, and the mini-grenade Let it Grow lead the charge in a well-played set. Nothing for want here - to anyone below who thinks this show "lacks energy" - really, check out that Let it Grow one more time!

Set 2 - pre-drums is pretty good, yo, but post-Space is where you want to be - see that UJB > Playin' 'wich? Yep, it ain't no '73, but they're so tight and on it you'll be all right - remember, this show does total three hours, despite the relative lack of super-long jams. I actually think that Good Lovin', so steady and smooth, works as well as anything here! Bobby, yes, was at times total dork in '81-'82, but he's admirably restrained here and sticks to his guns.

*As another pointed out on the 2nd Miller board source, here is the link to that fun Jerry "interview" from that afternoon, but it's really just a bunch of starry-eyed 'heads smoking Jerry out and asking some inane questions that really answer themselves. Still, it's irresistible for at least ONE go-round:

*Also, the weinberg aud here seems to fill in some of the missing D > S jam stuff - there is a fine 8+ minute jazzy thing that emerges which, when complete, sounds great and can be paired alongside this board with no trouble. If you're uptight about those kinds of things :)
Reviewer: lilrichwhiteboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2013
Subject: Excellent B.T.S. AUD Recording. Average Show.
It's true there is no "X" factor tonight, and it might be considered only an average to below average show for the lack of jamming. But I feel that with the way-above average quality of the "Behind The Stage" recording and a reasonable effort put out by The Boyz, it deserves at least a 3 1/2 to weak four star rating (I'll be generous.) It is worthy of being in the rotation just for the sound quality alone.

Nice job of recording Mr. Steinthal. Thanks... and always like a good story too.
Reviewer: chris phillips - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2012
Subject: throwback
Jerry was having a good time! Casey Jones is a highlight, but really it was the whole experience.
Thanks to Kelly for driving the late shift.
Reviewer: peasant - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 21, 2011
Subject: It's not 1973 and that's OK
So, the ULB>Playin>China Doll>Playin>UJB sandwich is not jammed out to 45 minutes. So what. This is 1981, post space Dead. And it's pretty darn fun as well.

Great job on the AUD recording. It sounds far better than any typical tapers' pit job from any standard arena in the mid 80s.
Reviewer: JackstrawFromWichita - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 18, 2010
Subject: The Bus Came By And I Got On...At This Show!
My first show, and what a show! The X factor was surely present here this night despite one reviewer's opinion, and the whole show is exceptional. The high energy Jack Straw & Sugaree, the smoking Mama Tried>Mexicali,Loser, Cassidy it goes on and on, and that's just the first set! One of the Dead's finest performances.
The second set is truly extraordinary, and from Estimated on, it is indeed ON!This is a really nice recording and an upgrade from what I've had for nearly 30 years now. My brother Steve brought me to this show when I was 15, and my life changed forever. The first of my 60 shows. Enjoy!
Reviewer: jamiejoon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 31, 2009
Subject: great 2nd set
Like many other folks, I loved my tape of this show when I was a baby deadhead and always wanted a better recording - this one is adequate but not ideal...a job for Mr. Chappell?. The post-space song choices are great, and unlike other reviewers, I don't think the performance is limp at all. Listening to it now, I just got goosebumps as they moved from China Doll back into UJB. Very nice! It ain't no November 77 800-pound gorilla, but it's a sweet, casual performance. Love Brent's liquid sound in early-mid 1981.
Reviewer: IowaNic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2009
Subject: fun
I remember a couple of things about this show from the haze of my lysergic-drenched memories: 1) the second set just completely flabberrgasted me as a new Deadhead--seemed like they just kept popping in and out of songs; 2) during the second set they opened the doors and people were free to come and go, no checking of tickets or anything--thought that was cool. Listening to it now, they seem like they're having fun, they're flustered by Brent's keyboard issues in the first set, and they're tired. I love this show and this recording.
Reviewer: vallesolana - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 24, 2008
Subject: Nice air conditioning
A refreshing break from a hot summer tour. 5 star rating on the audience recording(if your into audience recordings- personally, my top 10 list of shows are mostly audience tapes, ie. 8.6.71). Does not get much better than this! Audience energy is high and everything is thick and tight.
1st set highlights:
Loser, CC.Rider and Let it Grow

2nd set highlights: ALL
Reviewer: JamminJerome - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2008
Subject: Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band-> China Doll-> Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band
Do I need to say any more?
Reviewer: dewey gill - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 31, 2007
Subject: tapers & fireworks
Nice job,Steinthal. How did you get your gear in? We got searched thorougly at the door and were told to either leave our gear at the coat check room or take it back to the car. I looked in the room and saw D-5's & Marantzs' stacked on top of each other.I went back to the car. Security was tight because they were looking for fireworks. The last time they played the Civic Center 7-3-78, a lot of people were blowing stuff off. Some knuckleheads layed waste to a couple of seats higher up during the set break with something fairly substantial. I remember turning around and seeing a cloud of dust & smoke with the two yo-yo's scattering in opposite directions. I also remember walking up to that backstage area on the second level and watching the drummers during their solo. Great vantage point. The Playin>UJB>China Doll sandwich was sweet.
Reviewer: northstar dead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2007
Subject: Good by Mama and Papa
Crisp indoor sound. The bands having a good ol time and so is the crowd.
I keep discovering new old shows, this one is a keeper
Reviewer: Jeff Gannon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2006
Subject: Outstanding Show, Outstanding Recording
Just a great representation of the time period. Everything is AT LEAST solid, and some jams are exceptional, including the whole post-Space action.
Reviewer: Purple Gel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2006
Subject: Another great Summer '81 show!
This was such a fun show! While the first set is well played it's the second set that rea;lly sparkles!!

The Samson, Althea is nice but after Prophet starts, all bets are off! The real special part is the China doll in the middle of the Uncle John's > Playin sandwich, Just Great stuff!!
Reviewer: BryanE - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 11, 2006
Subject: Casey really works for me
For me, this is really the one that got away.

My fellow Deadhead from down the hall during my freshman year had shown up at my house not far from St. Louis a couple of days prior so we could finally catch a show together after many late nights raving and drooling (if I may invoke a Pink Floyd epithet there) for nine months in Carbondale, munching on psychedelics and grokking on tapes.

The show at the Kiel left a smoking crater of our minds. We then drove north.

Unfortunately, I was an idiot. That's because I had also spent the past nine months foolishly chasing a woman who as flighty and unpredictable as she was beautiful. And she WAS beautiful. Like a complete asshole, I had fallen: head, heels, the whole nine yards. And the only reason I got into that car with them in the first place was to hitch a ride to Chicago so that I could go way out to where she was living-with the her parents for the summer-and hopelessly moon over her. At one point during my visit, she even gave me the "I'd really just like to be friends" speech. Egads! I cringe just thinking about the whole embarrassing episode.

It was one of the worst decisions I ever made in my life.

Back in Carbondale the next school year, it was made very clear to me that I shoulda just stayed in the car on gone on to St. Paul:

"So, what did I miss?"

"Opened with Jack Straw. After drums they did Space>Uncle John's Band>Playin In The Band>China Doll>Uncle John's Band>Playin In The Band>Around & Around>Good Lovin' and encored with Casey Jones."


This is the first time I've ever heard it. Ouch, indeed.

Casey Jones, which had been a constant staple for the first few years after it was first written, was, at this point in their tenure, pretty much a rare ingredient that was only thrown into the recipe on those occasions when they were feeling particularly rambunctious. The recording here is crisp and satisfying for an audience tape. I had always wanted to hear this performance, and it lived up to my expectations.

By the way, thanks so much to whomever has compiled this archive. This is wonderful.
Reviewer: KindRainbowBrother - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2005
Subject: One of My Favs UPDATE: Still Rocks
UPDATE: I just relistened to this show for the zillionth time and guess what? It still rocks! I would so take this show over Cornell any day of the week.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: After reading some of the luke warm reviews offered here I thought I would offer my own personal take on this show. I used to have a crappy audience recording of this show on an even crappier tape and I played that sucker to death. I have never heard the first set so I won't comment but I have always loved the second set and consider the lil' jam out of Eyes into drums a must listen - it is truly inspired. I have been to about 100 shows almost all mid-eighties but in the end all I can say is my review is worth exactly what it cost you. Oh the space UJB-Playin back and forth with china doll wrapped in the middle and ending with Good Lovin into a Casey Jones encore is totally awesome - I have always loved this show and I am totally pysched to download this show. You should be too.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2005
Subject: Nice Surprise 1981 barnburner
This is a great show and for the record have never heard a show that had both CC Rider and Ramble on Rose on it that did not sizzle. BE Women is great whole first set rocks. Est>Eyes is very nice...
Reviewer: BustedFlat - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 28, 2005
Subject: Interesting Aud
The behind the stage vibe is very interesting. It winds up sounding great. I find the sound to be a little better than the performance, but there's definitely some good stuff here. First set outshines the second IMHO. Stream first, then decide. If you are an AUD collector, go ahead and grab it.
Reviewer: markabes - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 16, 2005
Subject: Worth it for the Sugaree alone!
Always loved this Sugaree, just goes straight to 11 in the first Jam. 3nd space post space ina particular is fun as well
Reviewer: Bill74 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 23, 2004
Subject: One of the best
I have had a bad recording of the second set for years, but have always loved it. I am thrilled to have this great recording now. The sound is rich, and the Estimated/Eyes is my favorite performance...beautiful transition right before Eyes of the World starts. Lots of energy throughout the set.
Reviewer: Cosmic Bob - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2004
Subject: My Favorite Show I Saw
This is my favorite out of all the shows I went to. The Don't Ease just kicks butt - I know, a very odd thing to say, but it does!

The whole second set (except Althea) is really great.

When I bought the tickets to the show, months prior, I told everyone that they were going to do Casey Jones. They all scoffed at me! But there it was. I screamed pretty loud at that point.
Reviewer: utopian - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2004
Subject: sounds impressive
I was a bit skeptical but this has rich sound.

I have a fob neuman on dat and it sounds pretty nice, but this might take it.

Reviewer: Kilgore Trout - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 5, 2004
Subject: My first show - it made me a Dead Head
I was a student at the University of MN at this time, had grown up listening to the Dead from my older brothers, and went to this show. I walked away completely awe struck. Yes, I have been more blown away in the years to follow by *better* shows, but I loved this show, still do, and have 0 problem listening to it to this date.
Reviewer: Dean S - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 5, 2004
Subject: A rarity
And one more quick note on this show. I was there, and it was the ONLY time in 16 years of Dead shows that I heard them play Casey Jones. I can also remember being one of the few people dancing in one of the hallways, and getting strange looks from the Minnesotans in attendance. Great memories - I give it a good rating just for that.
Reviewer: J Steinthal - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 25, 2004
Subject: A message from the taper himself.
Over the years, I've heard many and various comments about this show and the recording. Including for example, several people have told me this tape "made them a dead-head". I remember really enjoying the show. (hold on I'm going to put it on). Maybe it's not the best show I've seen but I've always thought of it as a throw back show hinting at earlier eras. The band seemed to be having fun which seemed to be the key ingredient to the flow.

The summer tour was nearing an end, we were exhausted, and we had done yet another really long hike, this time to St Paul. Being inside the temperature controlled Civic Center was cool and refreshing. The music added to and then took over the refreshing environment restoring us and reminding us that fun was the principle reason we made the effort to be out there. This show felt different compared to the rest of the tour.

I want to state clearly I hand held the mics while sitting behind the stage. Here's what went down....

Upon entering the hall a few minutes later then hoped, I saw fellow touring tapers on the floor already getting set-up. As I rushed to get to my floor seats, I saw the venue security approach the tapers. Keep in mind, 7/81 was still years before there was a taper section. At that point, I stopped, witnessed the bust and with little time left before the show, reassessed what I would do.

I looked around the Civic Center and to my amazement, very high up, there was a large PA set-up to serve the behind the stage audience. If you think of a hockey rink, the stage was set-up over a goal carving deeply into the lower level seating behind the goal, allowing for the largest possible floor area in front of the stage. The remaining seats behind the stage, were middle and upper level, steeply inclined as it was the end of the floor.

I went back there and sat 15' from the stack, level with it, and hoped for the best. It was quite loud. There was not much audience nearby, as the seats gave a severely limited view.

Well the tape speaks for itself, 23 years later, I still like it and the show. A the lesson learned from this taper's point of view is that "FOB-DFC" is not always the only place to be. That said, FOB-DFC is often a great place to be.
Reviewer: copperdomebodhi - favoritefavorite - May 30, 2004
Subject: Lacking energy
You just can't rate a GD show by its setlist. This one has a stellar song selection, but it's played in a limp, excitement free manner. 5-11 is another show from this year with a similar (ish) setlist and much more interesting jams
Reviewer: Seperation of Dead and State - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2004
Subject: Great Recording....
This is a clean aud with a little more high end than desired. Still, Garcia is a shining star....the problem is the paltry attempt at UJB-Playin....neither of these songs breaks ten minutes. Im not complaining just dont think time wise your getting anything more than a standard post-drums set with a little twist on selection. The interview with Garcia that circulates prior to the show in his hotel room is an absolute gem.
Reviewer: gankmore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2004
Subject: cool (almost) palindrome
Ok, it's not a true palindrome, but it's very cool anyway: UJB > Playin' > China Doll > UJB > Playin'. This is one sweet sounding 1st gen crowd tape. Way more than listenable. Worth a good listen or three.
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/26/2004
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 18,074
favorite 7
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 8,263
favorite 19
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Source: (FOB) Sennheiser 421 -> Cassette Master (Sony D5) -> Dat (48k)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 9,435
favorite 5
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Source: Audience Recording
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 14,740
favorite 13
comment 13
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 13 reviews )
Source: Audience Recording: Sony ECM 23-F's
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 23,357
favorite 3
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: Audience Recording: TEAC PC-10 with nak 700 mic's fob
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 30,299
favorite 29
comment 32
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 32 reviews )
Source: Ficca FOB Sony TCD5M with 2 Beyer Dynamic 160's and 1 Beyer Dynamic 88->Sony CDR-W66>EAC>CDWave>CD via Ficca
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 110,575
favorite 126
comment 36
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 36 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 11,245
favorite 8
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: Audience Recording: Sennheiser 421's
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 38,557
favorite 16
comment 7
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 7 reviews )
Source: Audience Recording
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 24,567
favorite 23
comment 17
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 17 reviews )
Source: Soundboard